Savandurga or Savanadurga is one of the popular picnic destinations situated in the vicinity of Bangalore at about 75 km away towards its West, off the Magadi road. This place, which lies on the Deccan plateau, is located at an average elevation of 1226 m above sea level.
Savandurga is famous for the Savandurga Hill, which is regarded as the largest monolith hill in the world. The Savandurga Hill, which has a towering height of about 1226 m, comprises of nothing but a large single rock. This rock is of prehistoric origin and made of basic dykes, granites, gneiss, and laterites. Savandurga Hills also consist of two minor hills Karigudda and Biligudda. Karigudda can be literally translated as ‘the black hill’ and Biligudda as ‘the white hill’ in Kannada language. Rock climbing is one the popular options here, given the challenge involved in this activity.
A Brief Peek Into History
As per early records that date back to 1340 AD, Savandurga Hills was known as Savandi Hills. The region of Savandurga was a prominent territory under various rulers such as Hoysalas, Kempegowdas, Wodeyars, Tipu Sultan, and the British. The hills are also mentioned in the book ‘Select Views in Mysore’, which was written in 1794 by Robert Home. In this book, Robert Home has described these hills as Savinadurga or ‘the Fort of Death’.
The word ‘Saavana’ stands for ‘three time rituals’ in Sanskrit language, which are linked with the ancient death rites. The Archeological surveys conducted at Savandurga have brought to light the presence of Megalithic burial urns in this area.
Tourist Attractions in Savandurga
Savandurga is a popular pilgrimage destination situated in the vicinity of Bangalore. This place is surrounded by scrub and dry deciduous forests, which spreads over 27 km². It offers wildlife spotting as the visitors can enjoy the sightings of many species of butterflies and birds, including the endangered Yellow-throated Bulbuls.
The place is famous for its ancient temples that are many centuries old. The Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple and Savandi Veerabhadreshwara Swamy Temple situated towards the foothills of Savandurga are considered amongst the most revered temples of Karnataka.
The Thippagondanahalli Reservoir, Manchinbele Dam, and Sayyed Ghulam Qadri’s Tomb are the other attractions in this region. Thippagondanahalli Reservoir was built in the year 1933 across the River Arkavathi, a tributary of River Cauvery, for the irrigation purposes for the Bangalore city. The Manchinbele Dam (Manchanbele or Manchinabele) is also built across River Arkavathi for irrigation purposes for the Magadi Town.
What to See and Do in Savandurga
Savandurga is famous mostly for the opportunities it offers for adventure enthusiasts. It is a popular destination for rock climbers, cave explorers, and trekkers. The monolithic extensions, Karigudda and Biligudda, of Savandurga hills offer great opportunities for the rock climbers. The rock climbing trails begin from the near the temples. The routes for climbing are marked in white on these monolithic hills. The midway of rock climbing is marked with the brick wall of Kempegowda Fort and the summit with a statue of Nandi.
Savandurga Hills are favored by both the beginners as well professional in Rock climbing as it offers Biligudda for the beginners and Karigudda for the professionals. The summit of the rock presents a panoramic view of the Magadi town as well as the Manchinbele Dam to the enthusiasts.
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